Youthologist, Vanessa Van Petten shares some practical techniques on how to introduce your children to the internet safety.
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Ria: Hi! guys this is Practical Mommy with mymommymanual.com and today I am visiting with Vanessa Van Petten who is the author of “You're Grounded!” and she is the founder of Radical Parenting which is a website on parenting from the teens perspective. So today we are talking about internet safety because again we know that Gen Y, Gen Z they are always online they are called the digital natives, but how can we guide our kids so that they can enter that world safely and be able to navigate it safely. Vanessa Van Petten: This is a really hot topic a lot experts talking about it, a lot of parents I think get really scared they either don’t understand it or they are like, there is to many risks, I am just going to say no. And I always like to address this directly because I think that the internet is new playground. Kids go on and they are sort of experimenting with their identity and they are experimenting with their friendships and parent saying I don’t want them on at all, it’s sort of the same thing as saying there is a bully on the playground cant go out to recess. Ria: Good point. Vanessa Van Petten: And when the kid goes on the playground and get pushed by someone they haven’t usually sit, they go through a -- in their head. I will push him back or punch him back, I go tell a teacher, I ignore it, I walk away or I go to my parents later, this is sort of choices on the playground. We need to also make those choices online, someone sends them a e-message, do they ignore it, do they report it to the website, do they right them e-message back or do they tell their parents. They have to be able to go through choices from a young age and other people are going through it too, of course within parameters. The parents are setting up save searches making sure there is no certain paternal controls in the computer, but letting them sort and developed with the internet. As they get older the rules should expand and that’s really important and a lot of parents need to let their kids sort of deal with that just like a playground. Ria: So what you say is kind of the age appropriate way to introduce your children through the internet like there is the toddler playground and then there is the big kid playground in first grade, what is the parallel on the online world. Vanessa Van Petten: Yeah actually I think it’s very-very similar to real world for example taking a control YMCA or like the park. When they are little and they are one – I don’t know, a lot of one-year-old, probably two, but when they are one till six, you always go with them, you go to the playground with them, you sit with them, just like on a computer you are going to sit with them with them on your lap. You show them a few of the Explorer videos on YouTube, you do it with them. From like 6 to 9 may be you are sitting next to them while they are on a website that you are watching may be they are able to use the keys well, just like in a park you go with them and have them play while you sat and watch. 8 to 11 and think of that’s when you can go to the park and may be you are doing their own thing and making go with their friends and they are there for very limited times, like on the internet they go onto website from 9 to 9:30 and then some 11 to 15 is when they are getting little bit on their own and that’s why things you have –- a few rules you say, you don’t hang out with this person, don’t talk to strangers, same thing online, you can go online but I wanted to have these parameter and then I think 15 and above, is when they really have to start making their decisions where you say here is how I like you to act at the park like you are old enough that way you can take yourself and make sure that they are safe. I think it’s very-very similar to real life. Ria: Great-great guidelines thank you, thank you very much.

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